Monday, February 4, 2013

2013 Grammys Predictions

The 2013 Grammys are taking place live in Los Angeles this Sunday, February 10th! The following predictions are entirely speculative based on my personal biases and vague name recognition for some of the artists… But I’m totally sure I’m right.

(Warning:  You thought Dactyl's Golden Globes post was long? You ain't seen nothing yet.) 

General Field

Record Of The Year 
Lonely Boy - The Black Keys
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Kelly Clarkson
We Are Young - Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye Featuring Kimbra
Thinkin Bout You - Frank Ocean
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift

This is a toughie, which is evident in the fact that this category has an unusual six nominees. I think Gotye deserves it for his signature song, a very well-performed piece that the radios couldn’t stop playing this year. Its percussive feel and cool use of xylophone give it a unique sound, while the blending of the two lead voices make relatable lyrics even more poignant. Still, each of these contenders is strong enough to possibly win. 

Album Of The Year 
El Camino - The Black Keys
Some Nights - Fun.
Babel - Mumford & Sons
Channel Orange - Frank Ocean
Blunderbuss - Jack White

Babel seems like the safe choice, although I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if Channel Orange swooped in (lots of buzz) or El Camino (remember back in 2011 when Arcade Fire’s Suburbs won and everyone was like, “Who is Arcade Fire??!”)

Song Of The Year 
The A Team - Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
Adorn - Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
Call Me Maybe - Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay, songwriters (Carly Rae Jepsen)
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi, songwriters (Kelly Clarkson)
We Are Young - Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe)

It took me the longest time to understand this category is different from Record of the Year because it awards the songwriters, not the performers. While the actual song of the year has got to be Carly Rae Jepsen’s ridiculously catchy “Call Me Maybe,” we all know it doesn’t stand a chance of winning. Right now I’m leaning towards Fun for its big, showy power ballad.  

Best New Artist 
Photo Credit
Alabama Shakes
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

Nominees and winners of Best New Artist seem a little random at times (no Ed Sheeran?) but with six nominations each, either Frank Ocean or Fun would be the obvious choice here. I’ll say Frank Ocean for his genre-bending musical style. 

Pop Field

Best Pop Solo Performance 
Set Fire To The Rain [live] - Adele
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Kelly Clarkson
Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
Wide Awake - Katy Perry
Where Have You Been - Rihanna

In another year, it surely would’ve been Kelly Clarkson, but Adele is Adele. 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance 
Shake It Out - Florence & the Machine
We Are Young - Fun. featuring Janelle Monáe
Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye Featuring Kimbra
Sexy And I Know It - Lmfao
Payphone - Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa

Hmm. I'll say Fun for a very fun, pop-py song. (Can I just point out the fact that Gotye’s album, Making Mirrors, is nominated strangely in the Alternative Music category…? o.O) 

Best Pop Vocal Album 
Stronger - Kelly Clarkson
Ceremonials - Florence & the Machine
Some Nights - Fun.
Overexposed - Maroon 5
The Truth About Love - Pink

Logically, you would think it would go to Some Nights, as it’s the only one nominated for Album of the Year, but the Grammys are hardly logical, are they? Against my better judgment I’ll pick Stronger instead, as Kelly Clarkson has been killing it in pop lately.  

Dance / Electronica Field 

Best Dance Recording 
Levels - Avicii
Let's Go - Calvin Harris Featuring Ne-Yo
Bangarang - Skrillex Featuring Sirah
Don't You Worry Child - Swedish House Mafia Featuring John Martin
I Can't Live Without You - Al Walser

I’ve only ever heard "Levels" by Avicii but I’ve heard that Skrillex is good and quite popular. Maybe I should actually do a little research and listen to all these songs? …Nahhhh.

Best Dance/Electronica Album 
Wonderland - Steve Aoki
Don't Think - The Chemical Brothers
Album Title Goes Here - Deadmau5
Fire & Ice - Kaskade
Bangarang - Skrillex

Again, Skrillex seems quite big, so I’ll say that it’ll win for the second year running. I don’t really know though. 

Traditional Pop Field

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album 
Christmas - Michael Bublé
A Holiday Carole - Carole King
Kisses On The Bottom - Paul McCartney

Michael Buble! He’s won in this category thrice already (with 6 nominations total) so I think he’ll go for a fourth win. 

Rock Field

Best Rock Performance 
Hold On - Alabama Shakes
Lonely Boy - The Black Keys
Charlie Brown - Coldplay
I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons
We Take Care Of Our Own - Bruce Springsteen

Again, "Lonely Boy" is the only song that’s up for Record of the Year, so I think The Black Keys are the logical choice here. If not, it’ll be Mumford & Sons swooping in with their most popular single yet.

Best Rock Song 
Freedom At 21 - Jack White, songwriter (Jack White)
I Will Wait - Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall & Marcus Mumford, songwriters (Mumford & Sons)
Lonely Boy - Dan Auerbach, Brian Burton & Patrick Carney, songwriters (The Black Keys)
Madness - Matthew Bellamy, songwriter (Muse)
We Take Care Of Our Own - Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)

The Black Keys, with the same reasoning as above, more or less.

Best Rock Album 
El Camino - The Black Keys
Mylo Xyloto - Coldplay
The 2nd Law - Muse
Wrecking Ball - Bruce Springsteen
Blunderbuss - Jack White

So Babel is an Americana album but the songs on it are rock? That makes perfect sense. Good job, Grammys. At least that means I can pick El Camino with a clear conscience. 

Alternative Field

Best Alternative Music Album 
The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do - Fiona Apple
Biophilia - Björk
Making Mirrors - Gotye
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. - M83
Bad As Me - Tom Waits

Considering the diversity of these artists, this category makes so little sense. I think that’s the running theme of this awards show. Anyway... Gotye for Making Mirrors! I wouldn’t be displeased with a M83 win either. 

R&B Field

Best R&B Performance 
Thank You - Estelle
Gonna Be Alright (f.t.b.) - Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Ledisi
I Want You - Luke James
Adorn - Miguel
Climax - Usher

"Adorn" is getting a bit of hype and as it’s a rather nice song, I have no problem endorsing it for President. Or predicting it to win this Grammy category, whatever it is I’m doing right now.

Best Traditional R&B Performance 
Lately - Anita Baker
Love On Top - Beyoncé
Wrong Side Of A Love Song - Melanie Fiona
Real Good Hands - Gregory Porter
If Only You Knew - Swv

I haven’t heard any of these but I see Beyoncé’s name, which is like a beacon of light to all. I’ll pick Blue Ivy’s mom!

Best R&B Song 
Adorn - Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
Beautiful Surprise - Tamia Hill, Claude Kelly & Salaam Remi, songwriters (Tamia)
Heart Attack - Benjamin Levin, Rico Love & Tremaine Neverson, songwriters (Trey Songz)
Pray For Me - Antonio Dixon, Kenny Edmonds, Anthony Hamilton & Patrick "jque" Smith, songwriters (Anthony Hamilton)
Refill - Darhyl "DJ" Camper, Elle Varner & Andrew "Pop" Wansel, songwriters (Elle Varner)

"Adorn" by Miguel again!

Best Urban Contemporary Album 
Fortune - Chris Brown
Kaleidoscope Dream - Miguel
Channel Orange - Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean for Channel Orange, EASY! Next!

Best R&B Album 
Black Radio - Robert Glasper Experiment
Back To Love - Anthony Hamilton
Write Me Back - R. Kelly
Beautiful Surprise - Tamia
Open Invitation - Tyrese

Derp. Um… Well, R. Kelly is one of the most successful R&B artists ever, so that’s got to be worth something, right?

Rap Field

Best Rap Performance 
Hyfr (Hell Ya ... Right) - Drake Featuring Lil' Wayne
... In Paris - Jay-Z & Kanye West
Daughters - Nas
Mercy - Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz
I Do - Young Jeezy featuring Jay-z & André 3000

"… In Paris." But props to Kanye for using the term “ass quake” on his song "Mercy." It’s just, it’s just so… ugh. Kanye gets me.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration 
Wild Ones - Flo Rida Featuring Sia
No Church In The Wild - Jay-Z & Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream
Tonight (Best You Ever Had) - John Legend featuring Ludacris
Cherry Wine - Nas Featuring Amy Winehouse
Talk That Talk - Rihanna Featuring Jay-Z

I do like the song "Wild Ones a lot" but I see that "No Church in the Wild" has three big names headlining it. Then again, Amy Winehouse is featured on "Cherry Wine", and you know she rolls! Gah. And John Legend is awesome and there’s Jay-Z again for "Talk That Talk"! Ugh. Let’s just go with "No Church in the Wild," because it was featured in the trailer for The Great Gatsby and I hear it’s “genius” or whatever. 

Best Rap Song 
Daughters - Nas
Lotus Flower Bomb - Wale Featuring Miguel
Mercy - Kanye West featuring Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz
The Motto - Drake Featuring Lil' Wayne
... In Paris - Jay-Z & Kanye West
Young, Wild & Free - Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars

(I deleted the songwriter info because it was just way too long. Who knew rap involved such a collaborative process.) "…In Paris." I was about to comment, why isn’t Jay-Z and Kanye's Watch the Throne album nominated for Best Rap Album, in the next category? Then I did a little research and found out that it was nominated, last year. Whoops.  

Best Rap Album 
Take Care - Drake
Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1 - Lupe Fiasco
Life Is Good - Nas
Undun - The Roots
God Forgives, I Don't - Rick Ross
Based On A T.r.u. Story - 2 Chainz

As a person who is clearly a huge expert on rap, I will say that I enjoyed Drake’s album Take Care and am surprised that it didn’t get into any of the General Categories. As a person who is lying about being a huge expert on rap, I will say that I have not actually listened to any of the other albums; however, Take Care has received quite a few accolades this past year so I chose the right album to listen to, I think.

Country Field

Best Country Duo/Group Performance 
Even If It Breaks Your Heart - Eli Young Band
Pontoon - Little Big Town
Safe & Sound - Taylor Swift & The Civil Wars
On The Outskirts Of Town - The Time Jumpers
I Just Come Here For The Music - Don Williams Featuring Alison Krauss

Because it’s T-Swift, I’ll pick her and The Civil Wars (also known as that band that broke up due to "internal discord and irreconcilable differences.” Hahaha! The irony! Ha! Ha! It kills me!), even though the song doesn’t sound very country.

Jazz Field

Best Improvised Jazz Solo 
Cross Roads - Ravi Coltrane, soloist
Hot House - Gary Burton & Chick Corea, soloists
Alice In Wonderland - Chick Corea, soloist
J. Mac - Kenny Garrett, soloist
Ode - Brad Mehldau, soloist

I’m thinking it’ll either be Chick Corea, solo, or Chick Corea and Gary Burton. I hope the duo wins for Hot House, mostly because I heard them play live a few months ago—I’m just awesome and cultured like that! Also, for the sake of Kenny Garrett, let it be known that he is not the same person as Kenny G (Kenneth Gorelick). 

Best Jazz Instrumental Album 
Further Explorations - Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez & Paul Motian
Hot House - Chick Corea & Gary Burton
Seeds From The Underground - Kenny Garrett
Blue Moon - Ahmad Jamal
Unity Band - Pat Metheny Unity Band

Hot House again!! Because see above!

American Roots

Best Americana Album 
The Carpenter - The Avett Brothers
From The Ground Up - John Fullbright
The Lumineers - The Lumineers
Babel - Mumford & Sons
Slipstream - Bonnie Raitt

Mumford & Sons for Babel, even though their big single “I Will Wait” is nominated as a Rock song. (Yeah, okay, Grammys.) Snaps for the Lumineers and hitting it big (-ish) with their debut album though, which was the most listened to album on Spotify for several weeks in October (so Wikipedia tells me). 

World Music Field

Best World Music Album 
Folila - Amadou & Mariam
On A Gentle Island Breeze - Daniel Ho
Jabulani - Hugh Masekela
Traveller - Anoushka Shankar
The Living Room Sessions Part 1 - Ravi Shankar 

I don’t know much about world music other than basic name recognition but I recognize three of them! Hugh Masekela is a trumpeter, Ravi Shankar is a sitar player (and the father of Norah Jones, fun fact), and his daughter Anoushka is too. I’ll go with the recently deceased Ravi Shankar (may he RIP) because he is some sort of maestro-icon-legend, whose music inspired George freaking Harrison to immerse himself in Indian music and introduce it to the Western world! What a legacy!  

Spoken Word Field 

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling) 
American Grown (Michelle Obama) - (Various Artists) Scott Creswell & Dan Zitt, producers
Back To Work: Why We Need Smart Government For A Strong Economy - Bill Clinton
Drift: The Unmooring Of American Military - Rachel Maddow
Seriously... I'm Kidding - Ellen Degeneres
Society's Child: My Autobiography - Janis Ian

Lately, this award has gone to well-liked celebrities or presidential-affiliated people. Since our awesome FLOTUS’s book is not performed by her, I guess Bill Clinton stands a stronger chance to win, which would give him his second Spoken Word Grammy. 

Comedy Field

Best Comedy Album 
Blow Your Pants Off - Jimmy Fallon
Cho Dependent (live In Concert) - Margaret Cho
In God We Rust - Lewis Black
Kathy Griffin: Seaman 1st Class - Kathy Griffin
Mr. Universe - Jim Gaffigan
Rize Of The Fenix - Tenacious D

Although I’ve never heard of Lewis Black, he’ll probably since he’s already won this category twice, and the Comedy Field winners appear to be actually consistent over time. (cough *Cosby Cosby Cosby Cosby Cosby Cosby Cosby*)  

Musical Theater Field

Musical Theater Album 
The Gershwins' Porgy And Bess
Nice Work If You Can Get
Once: A New Musical

Apparently Once swept the board at the 2012 Tony Awards, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t win here. I imagine its stiffest competition should be Porgy and Bess or Newsies, but I’m not as into Broadway as Dactyl is.

Music For Visual Media

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media 
The Descendants - (Various Artists)
Marley- (Bob Marley & The Wailers)
Midnight In Paris- (Various Artists)
The Muppets- (Various Artists)
Rock Of Ages- (Various Artists)

Haha, these soundtracks all fill very specific niches. I’ve only seen Midnight in Paris but I think Marley might take it. Bob Marley was a legend after all and he never won a single Grammy, save for his posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991. Maybe the great and arbitrary people of the Recording Academy will rectify this now. Probably not, though. 

Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media 
The Adventures Of Tintin - The Secret Of The Unicorn - John Williams, Composer
The Artist - Ludovic Bource, Composer
The Dark Knight Rises - Hans Zimmer, Composer
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Composers
Hugo - Howard Shore, Composer
Journey - Austin Wintory, Composer

The Artist won at the Oscars and the BAFTAS in equivalent categories, so let’s go with that. 

Best Song Written For Visual Media 
Abraham's Daughter (from The Hunger Games) - T Bone Burnett, Win Butler & Régine Chassagne, Songwriters (Arcade Fire)
Learn Me Right (from Brave) - Mumford & Sons, Songwriters (Birdy & Mumford & Sons)
Let Me Be Your Star (from Smash) - Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman, Songwriters (Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty)
Man Or Muppet (from The Muppets) Bret McKenzie, Songwriter (Jason Segel & Walter)
Safe & Sound (from The Hunger Games) - T Bone Burnett, Taylor Swift, John Paul White & Joy Williams, Songwriters (Taylor Swift Featuring The Civil Wars)

Is it too soon for Skyfall? Must be. In that case, it’s probably down to Taylor Swift vs. the Oscar-winning Man Or Muppet. I’m thinking T-Swift.

FINITO! I’ve skipped a few categories within several of these fields and some fields altogether (e.g. New Age, Latin, Reggae, the boring production ones, etc.) I probably could’ve done the music video field if I bothered to sit down and watch them all (or read what everyone else is saying), but I’m tired. And if you think you’re going to find Gospel or Album Notes predictions here, you’re barkin' up the wrong tree, pal. Feel free to give me a thrashing in the comments or argue it out for your favorite nominated artist, song, or album!


  1. So much music! Without a new Adele album, the Grammys should be super interesting this year... I trust your wise judgments, Saurus :]

  2. Man, I just looked over these again and your top categories are SPOT ON. I don't think I've ever been that accurate, haha. How on earth did you pick Kelly Clarkson for Pop Album??

  3. I was wrong about Best New Artist, but I did do pretty well for my shot! I figured Kelly Clarkson or Fun would win since they were the only ones nominated in the General Categories, and as you pointed out to me, while Some Nights has a few amazing singles, the rest of it isn't that great. On the other hand, Stronger is a really well-rounded album that typifies pop (to me), and Kelly is a powerful enough vocalist that I thought she could take on Fun and all its hype, which she did! :) So that's my long-winded answer, haha.